Jessica Day George

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When Your Child Takes Orders From a Trash-Compacting Robot

Boy loves Wall-e.

I mean, he really loves Wall-e. We aren't sure what it is about the little trash-compacting 'bot that does it for him, maybe it's the big eyes, the cute little noises, the fact that all Wall-e wants is a girl to hold his hand, but something about it appeals to him, and has since he first saw that trailer for the movie a year and a half ago. That's right: he was obsessed before the movie even came out. He saw the preview on a DVD, and that was it for him. We had to play the preview over and over, we had to find more previews and film clips on the computer, and play them over and over, and I worried that the movie would not live up to the hype.

But of course it did, and he loved it, and we had a Wall-e birthday party and we own the Wall-e Blu-Ray and Boy eats off of a Wall-e plate and sleeps on Wall-e sheets (in a Lightning McQueen bed) and wears Wall-e pj's and shirts and underwear and takes Wall-e vitamins and plays with Wall-e toys.

And we're fine with that.

(I believe I mentioned the 96 My Little Ponies boxed up in the basement.)

But then Wall-e started to tell my son things.

Like, "Today is Wall-e's birthday. He's six. He wants us to sing to him, and he wants these three toys as presents."


I played Happy Birthday on the piano for Wall-e, and he received his present graciously.

But now I'm hearing things like, "Wall-e needs to come to preschool with me. He says he needs to watch what I'm doing."

"Wall-e just told me how to play a great game, but it's lunchtime so I need to explain that his game will start after lunch. I hope he's not mad."

"Wall-e says he has a lot of work for me to do today. I wonder how I will get it all done in time."

What this work is isn't clear. So far it's involved reading a book about robots, and one about The Clone Wars, and playing with sidewalk chalk. I can deal with that. That's all fairly innocuous.

What worries me is that Wall-e will decide he's mad at someone . . . say, me. If Wall-e tells Boy to cut holes in Mommy's clothes, or rip the pages out of Mommy's books, will he do it? Who does he love more, me or the robot? I'm afraid to test this. Also, Wall-e has shown a suspicious interest in the lighsabers in the basement, and we're having some Star Wars/Wall-e crossover. Boy is quite good with a lightsaber, a point of pride for me and the Mister. I'm becoming concerned, though, that he's switched from being the blue-Anakin lightsaber to the red-Darth Vader lightsaber. (The fact that they are the same person is not believed by a four-year-old.)

That's right, my four-year-old has already left the Jedi Order and become a Sith. Wall-e's influence? I'm not sure.

But I do know one thing, I miss the days when Boy would sit in the corner with his hands folded on his chest, "cubing up" for the night. That was when Wall-e was just a movie.

Before he started giving my son "work" to do.

Let's all hope the next day's agenda doesn't involve gasoline and matches and the neighbor's house. . . .


Windybrook Spinner said...

=) Sounds like he has a very normal imaginary friend. I love that Wall-e had "work" for him to do. Caleb is very big into pretending to be Darth Mal. Darth Mal has the cool double red light saber. He likes to be Yoda too.

Julie Wright said...

I think you should work this to your advantage. You can tell him that Wall-e wants him to take out the trash or to pick up his socks . . .

Hmm, maybe I own a red lightsaber too because my plan smacks of all kinds of sith evilness.

Boy is dang cute. And I can still hear him calling over in his cute little voice to Carl's Junior. We should've bought Wall-e an ice cream too.

Meredith said...

Wow, that does sound a little menacing. But it's probably normal. My 4 year old nephew, rather than having an imaginary friend, has an imaginary boss. His boss always gives him lame work to do and makes him stay late at work. It's pretty hilarious.

c'est moi said...

I wish the person giving me "work" to do was imaginary. Enjoy it while you can, boy. Enjoy it while you can.

Actually, the boy is just freakin' hilarious. His giving me "a million dollows" to slide down the french fry vomit slide at "Old MacDonald's" is just one of the many many hilarious things he has recently come up with!

AnnaDee said...

when i was that age, i almost lived im my closet, because i was terrified of a t rex that would eat me if it ever saw me( apart from meal times and pre-school, an when i had to 'go potty' at last mom told me that littlefoot would protect me, so i left my closet club house. it took about a year tho!

maybe you could convince boy that you are WallE's boss?

Aria said...

Ah, imaginary friends. When I was but a wee lass Batman and Robin were my friends for quite a time. But my longest friend was a small horse. Somewhere between a colt and full grown. So big enough to carry me, but small enough to fit inside. (My mother was fiscinated I thought of it.) It looked just like an old stuffed animal. Black with a white star named Midnight.

I don't think me and my horse or the Batduo ever got up to anything particularly bad. Worse thing I did was get some water balloons, get on the swing set and throw them at people when the swing was at it's height. And my sister told me to do that!

Julie said...

This doesn't really relate to your son loving Wall-e, although that is really cute, but were you a the South Jordan Public Library today (the 28th) at around 5:45ish? because if that was so, then I saw you! I wasn't sure and seriously, if it wasn't you, why would a stranger want a 14 year old kid asking 'Are you the awesome author, Jessica Day George?' I wouldn't think so.

But if it was you, I was the girl wearing the multicolored short-sleeved shirt, ripped jeans, and purple converse sneakers that would glance at you for no reason then to gasp at your awesomeness.

I saw you at the Teen Writer's Conference in early June, so I knew what you looked like. So, now that I've had time to cool my head, (And I have no idea where to send this,) I'm posting about our possible moment of knowing of each others' existence for a few breif seconds, so yeah...

Thanks for reading this if you did,

Anonymous said...

wow! im reading Sun and Moon Ice and snow and read the back and saw you had a dog named pippin!!! we do too! we named him after Pippin the Lord of The Rings, did you?

Anonymous said...

i used to pretend i was a sith or villian of some sort. i miss thoses days ...., but it's normal kid stuff soon BOY will be interested in GIRL so be happy will he doe these things (do think he will be a piro or any thing if you worry and but a leash on him he will only want to rebel for more freedom,let him do his thing and it will be fine :)